Message Image  

Leadership of the Federal Statistical Agencies

By Steve Pierson posted 12-17-2013 20:35


This blog entry will help track the leaders of the 13 ICSP statistical agency heads by listing in Table 1 the current head, the previous head, and links to Amstat News Q&A's. I will also track updates as I learn of them.  Table 2 lists the nature of the head position.

Latest Updates:

  • 3/24/16:  NASS Administrator Joe Reilly to retire effective June 3, according to March 24 News from CNSTAT.
  • 3/24/16:  BJS Director Bill Sabol to retire effective March 31, according to March 24 News from CNSTAT.
  • 2/25/16: Jeri Mulrow appointed deputy director of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics 
  • 2/11/16: John Phillips appointed Associate Commissioner for Social Security Administration Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (ORES), according to  February 10 News from CNSTAT
  • 8/20/15: Manuel de la Puente retires from Social Security Administration ORES, according to August 29 News from CNSTAT
  • 3/21/15: Barry Johnson named SOI director earlier this month (or late February); had been acting director since Susan Boehmer left SOI last summer.
  • 1/27/15: William Sabol Appointed BJS director effective in February, according to January 27 News from CNSTAT

Table 1
: Current and Previous Statistical Agency Heads, with hyperlinks to Amstat News Q&A's. See agency abbreviations below. 

         Agency    Current Head     Previous Head 
   BEA    Brian Moyer 2014-  Steve Landefeld 1995-2014
   BJS  William Sabol 2015-2016   Jim Lynch 2010-2012  
   BLS  Erika Groshen 2013-  Keith Hall 2008-2012
   BTS  Patricia Hu 2011-   Steven Dillingham 
   Census    John Thompson 2013-  Robert Groves 2009-2012
   EIA  Ed Sieminski 2012-  Richard Newell 2009-2012 
   ERS  Mary Bohman 2012-  Kitty Smith 2007-2011
   NASS  Joseph Reilly 2014-2016  Cynthia Clark 2008-2014
   NCES  Peggy Carr (acting)  Jack Buckley 2009-2013
   NCHS  Charles Rothwell 2013-   Ed Sondik 1997-2013
   NCSES  John Gawalt 2013-  Lynda Carlson 2000-2011 
   ORES  John Phillips 2016-  Manuel de la Puente 2008-2015
   SOI  Barry Johnson 2015-   Susan Boehmer 2010-2014

For the following table on the nature of the agency head position, PASC stands for Presidential Appointee, Senate Confirmed and CSESA is Career senior executive service appointee. 

Table 2: Nature of leadership positions of federal statistical agencies. Source: Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, National Academies.

       Agency    Nature of Head Position 
   BEA    Director, CSESA
   BJS  Director, Presidential appointee*
   BLS  Commissioner, PASC, fixed 4-year term 
   BTS  Director, CSESA
   Census    Director, PASC, fixed 5-year term
   EIA  Administrator, PASC
   ERS  Administrator, CSESA
   NASS  Administrator, CSESA
   NCES  Commissioner, Presidential appointee*, fixed 6-year term 
   NCHS  Director, CSESA
   NCSES  Director, CSESA
   ORES  Associate Commissioner, CSESA
   SOI  Director, CSESA

*Congress removed Senate confirmation in 2012. See this 8/1/12 ASA Community blog entry, House Approves Senate Bill Making Census Directorship Fixed Term, Removes Senate Confirmation for BJS & NCES Heads, and links therein.
Prior to 2004, BTS Director was a presidential appointee

For more on the organization and structure of the Federal Statistical System, see Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, For example, Appendix 2 has two figures on the organization of the principal federal statistical agencies and programs and their organizational location within their department.

See also this ASA webpage, Support of Federal Statistical System. EPA Chief Statistician Barry Nussbaum also did this February 2012 Q&A for Amstat News.

See other ASA Science Policy blog entries. For ASA science policy updates, follow @ASA_SciPol on Twitter. 

Statistical Agency abbreviations (ICSP is the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy)

BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis
BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
BTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics
ERS Economic Research Service
EIA Energy Information Administration
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCES National Center for Education Statistics
NCHS National Center for Health Statistics
NCSES National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
ORES Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
SOI Statistics of Income Division, IRS